Second attorney throws hat in ring for judge race

Scott Wolfram joins Richard Wernette in vying for the position held by Donald W. Schacht, who is retiring.

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WALLA WALLA - A second local attorney says he will seek the Superior Court judge position that will be vacated by Donald W. Schacht in January.

Scott Wolfram told the Union-Bulletin on Wednesday he will file next week for election to the post later this year.

Wolfram will be running against Richard Wernette, who declared his candidacy last week shortly after Schacht announced he's retiring after 24 years on the bench.

Other attorneys also may decide to take the opportunity to try to succeed Schacht. Local lawyers traditionally choose not to challenge Superior Court judges seeking re-election, such as the other Superior Court judge, John Lohrmann.

Each position currently pays an annual salary of $148,832.

Wolfram, 57, is a member - similar to a law firm partner - in the Minnick-Hayner law corporation.

He has practiced law since 1979, served as a deputy prosecuting attorney and started at Minnick-Hayner in 1989.

His current practice emphasizes personal injury law. He also has been a part-time Superior Court commissioner since 2003.

Wolfram said in an emailed statement it would be an honor to follow Schacht to the bench.

"I have always wanted to be a judge," he wrote, later adding, "With Judge Schacht retiring, the timing works out."

Lohrmann, who took office in January 2009, confirmed to the Union-Bulletin this week he will seek another four years.

"I've enjoyed the challenges of my job and I'm thoroughly looking forward to serving at least one more term," he said.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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